REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
I’m a huge fan of guest posts. They’re such a great way to add perspective. My ultimate message is to nurture yourself. To take care of yourself. Inside. Outside. All-around healthy living. There’s so much more to it than just one girl, such as myself can share. Today I’m pleased to share a guest post from Bethany Ivie. Bethany and I found each other in a blogging class, and I really love this guest post that she was kind enough to put together for us.
Bethany Ivie is a life coach, writer and motivational speaker dedicated to working with individuals to grow their life and business from excellent to elite through organization, creative problem solving, and developing an effective action plan. If you would like to read more from her, you can follow her blog at www.theivieleague.com.
I’m the big girl.
In elementary school, I was the girl in the back row of the picture that was taller than everyone else, sticking out like a sore thumb. As a lean athlete in high school, I wore a size 8 pant while everyone else was in a size 4, and I weighed at least twenty-five pounds more than most of the boys in my class. Even in the best shape of my life, I have never been able to share clothes with my best friend or be the “cute” one. Even though I was self-conscious about it, I didn’t give it too much thought. I was still very confident and loved myself.
When I went away to college, I fit in a little better until I got pregnant and gained over fifty pounds. Before, I just thought I was the big girl. Now, I really was, and I was struggling with self-image for the first time in my life.
After I had my son, I was 230 pounds. I wanted plastic surgery. I hated my stretch marks. I looked in the mirror with disgust. (It didn’t help that my husband at the time was not exactly supportive.) I began working out the day I was released by the doctor, but progress was painfully slow. Over the course of about a year and a half, I got back down to right around 200 pounds, but was still very unhappy with my body.
Over the next several years a combination of raising a toddler, emotional abuse, job searching, Sonic drinks, moving and a not-so-pretty divorce led me to, once again, tip the scales at around 230. At this point, I didn’t care. I had accepted my “new” body how it was and was not doing much to change it.
When I found new love and realized I might find myself in another wedding dress, I got my butt into gear. I lost almost all of the weight and had gotten back down to 188 pounds. I was glowing and healthy and loving it. Then, I got pregnant. Again, another thirty pounds back on. And they just kept coming because of my tendency to stress eat and difficulty with my job. I topped out in August at 253 pounds.
So, here I am, almost a decade into the yo-yo game. I am still the big girl. But, I am not the same big girl I was ten years ago.
I am more understanding of people who struggle with being overweight and obese because many times it happens unintentionally and is extremely difficult to learn to control. I have had to learn to love the person on the inside no matter what my body looks like on the outside. But, I think that the most important part of my journey is realizing that weight loss really isn’t the focus.
To truly be successful in developing a healthy lifestyle, you must be in balance physically, mentally and spiritually. All three parts are equally as important. As soon as one gets out of line, your whole health becomes endangered.
I am not the ideal weight. I am not the perfect size. I am not where I would like to be. But, I am working on it. And this time, I have a secret that will guarantee my success.
I am not changing to look better. I am not changing to feel better. I am not changing to fit into the closet full of clothes that have been far too small for far too long.
I am changing because even after all this time, I still love myself and I know that eating healthy and exercising is the best thing for my future.